Archive for April 2007

Time-stealer tricks: booking in advance

April 29, 2007

Victims of time-stealers are usually the victims of their own politeness too. Otherwise they’d be much more effective in achieving a pest-free life. Most victims are brought up to be polite, and this politeness is so ingrained that they can’t bear to straightforwardly tell someone they aren’t interested in seeing them. They use various socially acceptable ways of signalling “no” without saying “no”, and hope that the time-stealer will get the hint. The time-stealer takes advantage of this by ignoring the hint and focusing on the fact that the word “no” has not actually been said.

A lot of victims try to put off arrangements by being dreadfully busy in the near future, inventing packed schedules as a way of saying “Please give up.” So the time-stealer trick is to assume they’re telling the truth and say, “Since you’re so very busy at the moment, let’s make plans to meet up in plenty of time.” They invite victims to meetings well in advance, knowing that the further in the future the suggested arrangement is, the less plausible the excuse will be.

The furthest in the future I’ve ever known a time-stealer to arrange something trivial was about six months.